NHL Rumor Mill – December 14, 2021

by | Dec 14, 2021 | Rumors | 33 comments

Are trades coming for the Canucks while they search for a new general manager? What’s the latest on the Canadiens hunt for a new GM? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NHL.COM: Kevin Woodley reported Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford received calls from other clubs interested in making trades even before he arrived in Vancouver. The former general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, he was hired for the job last week and met with the Vancouver media for the first time yesterday.

Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford (NHL.com).

Rutherford acknowledged there are holes in the Canucks roster that must be addressed but he’s not going to rush into making any deals nor will he make a lot of calls. His primary focus is on improving the hockey department.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports Rutherford is busy compiling a list of potential candidates to replace Jim Benning as the Vancouver Canucks’ general manager. He hopes to hire someone in the near future and also indicated he’d like to hire a new assistant general manager later this week.

Rutherford said he’s not there to be the general manager but he’s capable of doing the job. He indicated he’d like to take some time to evaluate his roster. He also stated he doesn’t want to move draft picks unless they’re in the later rounds because it’s not the cycle the club is in.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford has a well-earned reputation as a wheeler-dealer but he also understands the reality of the club he’s taking over in Vancouver. Kuzma points out they’re already capped out and their young core must be supported by players in the same age group.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that Canucks like J.T. Miller, Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson were being floated as trade candidates. I daresay they’re off the market for now and perhaps for the remainder of the season.

Any significant moves by Rutherford and his new general manager will likely take place during the offseason. Much will depend on who becomes the next Canucks GM and the club’s performance over the rest of this season.

THE ATHLETIC: Arpon Basu and Marc Antoine Godin report there are at least three women on the Montreal Canadiens long list of potential general manager candidates. Even if a woman isn’t hired for the position, there’s a good chance they could be eligible for other roles in the organization.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A woman has never held a general manager role in the NHL. She would have to be bilingual to become the Canadiens GM.

The Canadiens recently hired former New York Ranger GM Jeff Gorton as their executive vice president of hockey operations. He would work in tandem with whoever becomes their next GM. If they’re lacking NHL experience, he will mentor them until they’ve become accustomed to the role.

The leading candidates are believed to be Mathieu Darche and Daniel Briere. Darche is the director of hockey operations for the Tampa Bay Lightning while Briere manages the day-to-day operations of the ECHL’s Maine Mariners.


  1. A losing streak would change JR’s mind in a hurry……

    • I wonder if hab fans prefer the best person available for the job regardless of sex. Skin colour or language spoken and winning. Or stay handicapped. By having to have bilingual and therefore more often then not. Not getting the best person for GM role

      • I am a best person (man, woman, any race, any language) for the job type of person but careful what you say otherwise someone may accuse you of being a bigot and a dinosaur

  2. Cue the “outrage” that a woman and a bilingual one at that is the problem and that the Habs will never succeed till they hire the best for the job.

    Somehow an old unilingual white male isn’t second guessed or even questioned about being the best for any team in the league.

    I don’t know who Gorton is going to hire but I’m happy that apparently he isn’t limited to the old boys club.

    • To understand the importance of a bilingual GM in Montreal, listen to Molson’s press conference as an Anglophone. It’s frustrating not to understand most of what is being said. Imagine being a Francophone fan of the Canadiens and not being able to understand the GM (or coach).

      Hiring Gorton, who is not bilingual, and pairing him with a bilingual GM seems like a compromise. The GM will have final say and be the public face of hockey ops, but will be supported by Gorton. In my humble opinion, Gorton was the best person for the job. I fully agree that the position of being the GM of the Canadiens is probably too big for any one person: I like that they are thinking outside of the box.

      • I think you make your point exceptionally well, but I still believe it would be best for the Habs to hire the best person, period. I don’t care what language they speak, gender, or anything else. Give me the best candidate or player, period. Winning is the only thing that matters in sports. Limiting your talent pool by any other criteria makes zero sense.

        Also, experience matters. The role of GM of the Montreal Canadiens is NOT an “learn on the job” role. Prioritize winning above all else and give yourself the best chance at getting Cup 25 asap.

    • Rubbish!

      You are manufacturing so called outrage in favour of the supposed “old boys’ club” to make some obscure point. What it that, I wonder?

      The leading candidates for the Habs’ GM, at least according to the press, are Darche and Briere, names repeated here for all to see. These are old boys, are they?

      Would there be a backlash against hiring a woman as GM in these circumstances? There should be, as there isn’t a woman that has been identified as having anywhere near the qualifications.

      Female, male, non-binary or just plain gender indecisive, anyone hired as a GM for the Habs or any other professional sports team has to have qualifications. Otherwise the rebuild (re-set if one prefers) would be a fiasco and the blow back against a “progressive” hiring would be immense.

      As for older white males never being criticized, did you lose your glasses a few year ago? Bergevin has been getting criticized for years, as has Benning. Boston fans have been criticizing Sweeney all season long here.

      • Saying that there are no women qualified for the job of GM shows either bias, or ignorance.

    • My cynical side says the only reason the story comes out about the female candidates is cause the drafted that fool.

    • Given that no names are given by Basu and Godin, I’m going to guess one.

      Émilie Castonguay – Alexis Lafrenière’s agent has some background with Gorton.

      • Nice guess. Do you know if she has any qualifications to be a general manager of a professional hockey team worth over a billion dollars?

    • Hire the best person period is a cover up, its the excuse given to stand in the way of diversity.

      Sam Pollock, Toe Blake, Scotty Bowman were all bilingual, neither was groomed for their positions and they won a few Stanley Cups between them.

      For those who don’t know Émilie Castonguay, do some research.

      Best person for the job eh, considering the globalization of the game and stars coming out of Russia, Sweden, Finland, maybe Rutherford will hire one of them and a translator 🙂

      • The best qualified person is a cover up?

        More rubbish. Who says the person best qualified for the job isn’t a purple, cross dressing hermaphrodite? Diversity doesn’t enter into it so again you are bending over to manufacture controversy where there isn’t – or shouldn’t be – any.

        Unless your position is that the real goal is to hire from an under represented group, qualifications be damned. Coming from you, that wouldn’t be surprising.

      • HF30 – its not a coverup, it’s simply the most prudent way of running any business. If you suggest she gets hired in an assistant role where she learns her craft then fine but not as a GM with no experience in running any organization. So because she is female she just gets to jump to the head of the line bypassing all those people around the league who have put in their time and are ready for a chance? GMMB first experience as a GM was with the Habs – I’m sure he learned some things during his tenure that he will bring with him if he ever gets a chance to manage another team. For once I’d like to hire someone with experience instead of having them train on the job. Oh wait – they did that by hiring Gorton – so whom ever they hire to satisfy the bilingual requirement is only for “show” as Gorton will be running this team until the GM gets some experience.

    • Geoff Molson and Gorton stated they will be choosing people who may have complementary strengths to his skills.
      Might be a former player, maybe an agent, maybe a woman.

      Some people don’t understand the importance of language, which is their right of course, but le Club de hockey Canadien (official name) has made its position clear, language is important.

      • Two women who I would toss out as possible picks would be Meghan Chayka or Cammi Granato. To be GM maybe not but AGM not out of the question but neither as far as I am aware are bilingual.

  3. I mentioned it yesterday and will do it again, TESL/FSL is an industry in Montreal.

    One of these private companies needs to pitch their services to the Montreal Canadiens and teach players, their wives, Gorton, to communicate in French.

    They do it now for civil servants, teaching French on line to get bilingual pay.

    Would be quite the cachet for the company that stepped up and got the contract.

  4. Captain Obvious…..like I told you players are available including J.T. Miller.

    • Direct quote on this thread.

      “ It was only a couple of weeks ago that Canucks like J.T. Miller, Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson were being floated as trade candidates. I daresay they’re off the market for now and perhaps for the remainder of the season.”

      I never said they weren’t available. But a name floating on a rumor mill doesn’t qualify as definitely available. As Lyle points out, they’re more than likely at least temporarily out of the rumor mills until they get a better grasp of direction.

      My argument was JT Miller isn’t getting traded for Zucker or with Zucker being the primary piece involved in any trade for Miller.

      • Todaay 4th period quotes Minnesota Wild are really pursuing J.T. Miller you know the guy you told me wasn’t available,

        Minnesota has offered Kevin Fiala and Jordan Greenway…

        So I am right about his availability and you were right this is a much better offer than my latest Jason Zucker a 2nd and a 3rd..LOL

        that is two good young players to the Canucks would you take this deal?

      • Captain Obvious…you heard it here first mark my words there will be a trade between the Penguins and the Canucks…when we will see it will happen who knows

        Too much familiarity an Rutherford also looking to maybe luck Penguins assistant GM

        Kapanen, Rust or Zucker will be involved.. .somehow

        look for also a Wild Canucks deal because Rutherford Guerin are tight…

        Hence…..the 4th periods article Wild offering Jordan Greenway and Kevin Fiala for J.T Miller.

      • Where did I say JT Miller wasn’t available?

        Go ahead and copy and paste that here for me.

        So you’re saying two NHL teams will trade with each other eventually?

        That’s not exactly a Nostradamus prediction.

        And as far as the 4th period, they have to put something on that garbage site daily. I don’t think I’ll take their random guesses / click bait as bible.

      • “Miller not a chance” was in reference to Zucker being a return.

        Never said Miller is or is not available.

      • Other recent 4th period brain storms.

        Tarasenko is close to being traded.

        Detroit is moving Bertuzzi.

        Predators shopping Duchene and Johansen.

        Eichel to NY.

        Eichel to Blues.

        Eichel to the Wild.

        Eichel to Vegas- well, they also said about 15 other nhl teams. Good work 4th period. You’ve officially reached broken clock status!

    • Actually. The interview implies that said players are not available.

      • That interview was in Opposite Day! Which means everyone’s getting traded!

  5. Caption Obvious ..you said I quote Miller is not available why would they trade there best player. Over the last three years.

    Your words not mine…
    I guarantee you a Canuck will be a Penguin who that is for what I don’t know ..it will happen.

    Rutherford has history with the Penguins knows the team and its farm system..

    I think Burke wants Miller so we will have to see who goes back to Vancouver !!

    • Here is my exact quote copied and pasted in it’s entirety.

      Captain Obvious on December 13, 2021 at 5:53 pm
      Well I’m pretty positive Vancouver has zero interest to take Zucker who is grossly underperforming and overpaid for that gross underperformance as the primary piece in a trade for their most productive forward over the past three years.
      Let me explain in a way you may understand. How about Debrusk for Crosby? And throw in a few scraps. Moore= Petterson. Interested?
      Nah, gross overpayment? Yes.

      You seem to be mixing up bits and pieces from different replies from yesterday.

      At no point did I ever say Miller wasn’t available.

      I don’t wish to waste space here by pasting every comment from yesterday. So go read again and tell me where I said it.

      The entirety of that argument was the proposed return of Zucker. It had zero to do with whether or not Miller was actually on the trade block.

      Which by JRs words / Lyles comments following, it does not appear Vancouver has any desire to do anything at this moment.

      I think you’re misreading an awful lot over the last two days.

  6. Tarasenko despite playing well still does want out of St. Louis and that will happen..

    Bertuzzi name has surfaced where there is smoke there is fire…..just like Anthansiou before him.

    Yzerman isn’t keen on him for some reason..

    Predators were shopping Duchense until he hit this hot streak and found his groove from years gone by…magic pill of some sort. Nobody wanted him at that price playing like crap for 2 years but they were shopping him

    • It’s kinda funny that you say he still wants out.

      The 4th period reported in the beginning of camp that the trade request was put behind them and actually quote Tarasenko as saying such.

      So is the 4th period reputable? Or not so much?

      • The source I trust the most had had links to sources saying he would still prefer out.

      • Actually the other night on national T.V. the announcers and intermission crews said Tarasenko still wants to be moved…that will happen.

        you heard it here along with the Canucks and Penguins making a trade….you’ll see then you can back off Captain know it all…

  7. FYI that 4th period story isn’t from today its from November 23.

    When it comes to rumor sites, where there’s smoke there’s bs.